Far Cry 2 is here, but has it been worth the wait?
Far Cry 2 is here, but has it been worth the wait?

Far Cry 2 is here, but has it been worth the wait?

What's best about Far Cry 2? Is it the astonishingly beautiful African environment, so alive with movement, sound and realistic reaction to your actions that it might just be the best shooter sandbox of all time? Is it that the potential for eye-popping explosions, flying vehicle chassis and spiralling wood splinters awaits around every corner, above every ridge and in every chasm of the huge 50km square open world? Or is it the true freedom the game grants the player, allowing for a plot that has its roots in linear storytelling but provides tantalising off the beaten path branches?

The true answer is that there is no one thing that can be considered best about Far Cry 2. Its brilliance lies in the fact that it is more than the sum of its already impressive parts. Essentially the game is a playground that caters for whatever mood players find themselves in. Want to storm into an enemy encampment in broad daylight John Rambo style, perhaps running a few unfortunate soldiers down with a MG-mounted Jeep before letting loose with your grenade launcher? Go ahead. Prefer to fast-forward the incredible day/night cycle to midnight by taking a nap in one of the Safe Houses and sneak in under the cover of darkness before slicing and dicing from behind with your machete? Be the game's guest.

Ubisoft Montreal isn't, of course, the first developer to do open world shooting. Indeed last year's graphical tour de force Crysis is still fresh in our memories - as is the follow-up Crysis Warhead. But it is so well executed, so technically proficient that we can't help but feel it at least matches Crytek's shooter, and in some areas even surpasses it.

The game's first hour, however, might convince you otherwise, and it almost did for us. After choosing from a selection of nine refreshingly un-clichéd mercenaries, ranging from a 45-year-old Mauritian to a 38-year-old Algerian (when was the last time you could play a game as anyone not of American, British or Alien descent?), you're thrust into an unnamed African country being torn apart by two warring factions. Your mission: To kill The Jackal, an arms dealer who's fuelling both sides of the conflict with weapons, and making a mint as a result. You immediately run into problems - malaria wraps its diseased mitts around your innards, forcing you to collapse as soon as you arrive in town. You wake, groggily, and find The Jackal standing ominously above you. He knows everything - who you are, why you're here and how defenceless you've become as a result of the malaria. In pity, he hands you a machete and a hand gun, and lets you live. This is where Far Cry 2 kicks off.

It's not long before all hell breaks loose, and you're right in the thick of the action.

It's not long before all hell breaks loose, and you're right in the thick of the action.

Outside, all hell breaks loose. The United Front for Liberation and Labour (UFLL) and the Alliance for Popular Resistance (APR) are going at it in the streets. You make a break for it, dodging bullets as you head anywhere as long as it's away from certain death. But there is no escape - either you're shot or you collapse from the malaria.

You wake in a slaughter house just outside town. A merc, one that you did not pick to play as at the beginning of the game but is determined by that choice, now reckons you owe him a few favours on account of him saving your ass. From there, it's up to you what jobs you take on, whether it be paid work from the UFLL or APR (diamonds act as currency in Far Cry 2, which can be spent on upgrades), malaria pill jobs from various good Samaritans, weapon vendor jobs that unlock new purchasable gear, buddy jobs that improve your 'history' with the NPC mercs or assassination jobs dished out by a disguised voice heard from communication masts. What they all have in common, however, is combat, and it's here that Far Cry 2 initially frustrates.

We're used to developers holding our hands so tightly during game tutorials, and even beyond, that Far Cry 2 will at first jar with many due to the fact that it's actually pretty tough right from the start. Simply shooting stuff is difficult. On the Xbox 360 and PS3 (the versions tested), pressing LT or L1 will zoom in either down the barrel of your gun or through the sight and automatically snap to your target. From there, though, you'll have to move the left thumbstick yourself to aim and fire with RT or R1. This sounds like plenty of other shooters post-CoD2, right? Well, yes, it does. But you'll still find successfully killing lots of enemy soldiers during the first third of the game so hard you'll consider the combat a chore.

At the beginning of the game your weapons are, frankly, crap. You'll find the recoil offensive, the jamming so regular you'll tear your hair out and the enemies so hard to spot in your splendid surroundings that it won't be long before you grab a mouthful of dirt and taste the totally unforgiving save system. The healing system doesn't help. Whenever your health dips you can inject yourself with magic hit point juice via a press of LB or L2. That's fine. But when your health bar is almost up healing will instead trigger an animation where you gruesomely pick bullets out of the holes in your skin. The problem is that this animation, which takes about five seconds to complete, is interruptible by enemy fire. Invariably what happens in an encounter during the first few hours is you'll find yourself surrounded by enemies you can't see, peppered with bullets that bring you to within an inch of your life and unable to heal because the healing animation keeps getting interrupted. Then you die and reload from the last time you saved, usually miles away in a Safe House.

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mj's Avatar
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mj

i have played the game on both consoles,and im a fanboy of neither..but i must admit,the ps3 version not only runs better,but it looks better.What ive noticed is that the ps3 has way better textures and anti-aliasing.The xb version is good,but is so pultry in comparison to sony's.I find the controles alot easier and more sensable on ps3,and overall i think the ps3 dominates..
Posted 07:58 on 08 January 2009
sdfghjk's Avatar
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sdfghjk

truly dreadful game
Posted 20:26 on 13 December 2008
john's Avatar
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john

to many bugs not saving and not loading ubisoft need to sort it !!!!!!!!!!!
Posted 13:11 on 29 November 2008
theo X's Avatar
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theo X

i have the pc version, allas it is rubbish! the AI still sucks the missions are boring and reppetative, I was also a huge fan of fc1 and thought everything was good about it( even tho it was original xbox) this is just pants and pointless its like they had a great idea then couldnt be arsed to finish it..i for one wish i had gotten fable 2 but thats probably a let down too as most games are for these so called next gen machines
Posted 09:40 on 10 November 2008
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John

Very average game. While it does look very pretty, running for cover while being fired upon by enemies you can't see and then trying to heal yourself and thusly getting shot while doing so makes for a really frustrating time. One other user said you're mostly driving around--and he's right. The save system is very unforgiving, as well, since being killed on a mission means you have to start over half an hour back.
Posted 16:03 on 09 November 2008
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SHOOTRLVR

Ok.... i understand there is people who likes to just kill. Everything that moves should be killed..... the same unstable characters who teamkill in multiplayer web shooters like AA. The same borderline individuals who cant stand building a tactical defense or atack in the same games and go running away from the team because they are avid for fast kills.
For them, this more tactical and realist gameplay is boring and i understand them and their mental disorder.
I love the "OBLIVION" like gameplay of this shooter, i love the fact that you actually have to look for your objectives, they dont just appear before you in a linear path.
I love the reputation system, and i love the fact that most of the time, things dont go that easy for you.
I love the lack of sience fictional content...... no freaky monsters or aliens or zombies.
At last an interesting and mature shooter thst is based in reality and not on fiction to hook its players.
This is a masterpiece..... everything i was looking for in a game like this.
Once again, its only my oppinion, my humble oppinion.
Posted 20:32 on 30 October 2008
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damo

played it for just under 10 hours in all, and just over 50% complete

there is a mission on a barge that is actually ok, but still not enough to save a VERY average game

I would give it 7/10 tbh
Posted 02:51 on 28 October 2008
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Anonymous

U huh ? No answer from videogamer for ma earlier post asking about the pc version separate review ?
Posted 18:12 on 27 October 2008
damo's Avatar
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damo

yeah cos its fun shooting up a derelict hut :(

the gameplay on cod4 pisses all over it

I keep finding myself having to persuade me to play it, the best reason I can give is that it cost me 40 quid!

the only way I can say this is better than COD4, is that after about 5 hours into the game, Im only 8% complete
Posted 12:31 on 27 October 2008
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Anonymous

What you on about damo its miles better than the linear, non- destructable enviroments of cod 4.Time to move on mate!
Posted 11:26 on 27 October 2008
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Anonymous

Hey Wes shud u not review the pc version separately too ????

r u gonna do it , i hav been waiting long fer it :(

Also frm what i've heard and read ( ur awesome review ) FC2 is an awesome game . Still so many people complaining

P.S I like travelling in games
Posted 08:12 on 27 October 2008
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damo

how this got given the same score as COD4 is beyond me!

so repetitive... everything you do just seems to be the same, only on a different part of the map

kinda like Assassin's creed, which was totally poo
Posted 00:16 on 27 October 2008
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yoyo

This game is excellent on the PC
Posted 23:54 on 25 October 2008
WhyFarCry2?'s Avatar
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WhyFarCry2?

If any of you are looking forward to "FarCry 2" keep waiting because this is not it. This game has nothing to do with Far Cry and is in a totally different format... some call it FPS some call it RPG.. This version of whatever game this is, is definately an RPG... You will spend 90% of your time DRIVING or walking to your destination. You have to find buddies and increase your reputation as you go, plus you have to BUY weapons and upgrades, unlock "safe houses" and basically waste a bunch of time that could be spent killin stuff.. The graphics are GREAT but that is about it... to many monotonous little tasks that need to be done in order to complete a mission. It is so far away from FarCry that it is borderline false advertising as a "PART TWO"... if you liek RPGs this will be GREAT... if you like FPS this may be to boring for you in the long run... It's to boring for me and FarCry is my favorite FPS... but that was the original one.. not whatever this game is... Thanks.
Posted 23:37 on 25 October 2008

Game Stats

9
Out of 10
Far Cry 2
  • Gorgeous graphics
  • Wonderful open world gameplay
  • Complete freedom
  • AI a bit shoddy
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 24/10/2008
Platforms: PS3 , Xbox 360 , PC
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Publisher: Ubisoft
Genre: First Person Shooter
No. Players: 1-16
Rating: BBFC 18
Site Rank: 3,520 104
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